I read a blog this morning on "Releasing Expectations." It got me thinking about personal expectations as well as how expectations can get us into trouble (be it any type of relationship, even with ourselves, or situations). I think there is undoubtedly good and bad to having expectations. First, the good; expectations can ground us, allow us to envision the future and put us in some level of a productive mode. All good things for growth!
However, the not so good side of expectations always seems to rear it's head in the process. Probably the most important downfall of expectations is how they influence real life situations. Having expectations of how something "should" go is quite possibly doomed for failure. What if? What if the situation doesn't turn out according to your expectations? Do you feel like a failure? Do you personalize it? Do you place blame? And is all of this destructive in your life?
Having a vivid imagination myself, expectations are something that I work to monitor daily. I certainly like to do some mental prep work before a situation but generally allow a flow to happen. After all, you can't prepare for surprises. This is often where people get jammed up. When a surprise happens that they didn't see coming- HELLO DEFENSE!! And so the situation unfolds.
I have found that the further you distance yourself from your expectations the better. First, you don't get wrapped up in the "what ifs", second, you don't waste a lot of mental and emotional space, and third, you allow for "real time" discussions and experiences. Not always to our liking but real nonetheless.
The fact is that life will take you in many unsuspecting places. Adapting to those places isn't always fun but if you do your best the growth is undeniable. Take a moment and try to let go of some expectations you may be holding on to. Breathe and release. Accept the fact that not everything will work out in accordance to your ideas, wants and desires. And...it's ok.